Consumer Rights Service doubts legality of 'Daily Deal' websites in Russia
21.02.12 17:32 By Ekaterina Bryzgalova, edited by Karina Ayvazova
Rospotrebnadzor says discount services may be out of law due to the fact that they are not «the actual sellers». Photo: thinkstockphotos.com/fotobank.ru
Moscow city Rospotrebnazdor department
The agency has published a recommendation announcement on its website recently, which recommends "treating these companies with more attention."
Rospotrebnadzor says sales service may be illegal due to the fact that the companies which sell the discount coupons are not "the actual sellers".
"The company sells a virtual "coupons", charging a certain amount of money by means of electronic payments
In reality, the customer does not have a chance to use the coupon for its intended purpose. In addition. the customer does not have an opportunity to take the money back, the agency says.
As soon as the coupon date expires, the customer may be informed that the company, which should have to sell a service with a discount, either does not exist or is not registered in the service's database. As a result the "seller" informs the customer about the absence of the activated coupon.
In this case, it is impossible to get any money back, Rospotrebnadzor warns.
The agency explained the publication using the complaints from customers which have become quite often recently.
There are more than 100 discount services on the Russian web, which offer discounts in Moscow. The largest ones are Groupon, Biglion, Bigbuzzy, and Kuponator, among others.
Groupon says that it is a mediator between the seller and the customer. Before publishing an auction, the company checks the partner from a legal standpoind, Groupon says.
Biglion refused to comment whether the company received complaints from Rospotrebnadzor, saying such information is confidential.
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